About a week ago I decided it was time to do a little transplanting in my flower garden. Years ago I would grab my shovel and start digging before getting on my hands and knees to place the plant in its proper place. This time was different.
I enlisted the help of a young man to dig the hole for me. I told him how I used to love gardening and did it all myself. As he packed the dirt around the plant I mentioned that if I got down on the ground like that I would be unable to get up on my own. Furthermore I would be so tired I would need to rest the remainder of the day. An old song instantly came to mind with the lyrics: “The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be…Many years ago”. Now I have no idea who wrote those words, but at that moment I identified with those words as I felt like an old, old horse that needed putting out to pasture.
Facing changes associated with age and time are difficult for most people. We like to think about the good things of the past when we were young and full of energy. I like to think about the days of not only my garden, but of teaching young children. I remember the day we climbed Tucumcari Mountain with our 5th grade Sunday School class. It was not only a fun outing, but an opportunity to get to know the kids better.
I know some Senior adults who often talk about what the church was like in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. They remember the large attendance of both adults and children, the traditional hymns played on the organ, and no competition of church functions with those in school. They tell of days when Vacation Bible School and Revivals lasted for two weeks. They question why things change and don’t remain the same.
It is easy to focus on all of the good memories, but life wasn’t as easy as we remember. We seem to forget a time when people feared dreaded diseases like Polio. My mom told me when she was young she saw a young girl in an iron lung. To pay for the little girl’s treatment, she was transported from town to town where people paid a dime or quarter to gaze at her. Good old days?
In the book of Genesis we read about a man named Abram (later named Abraham). He lived in a land with his father and relatives. It was a familiar place for him as he grew up in the land of Ur. One day the Lord spoke to him and told him to leave his father’s house and all his relatives to go to a strange country and settle there. It took numerous years before Abraham began to see these promises in the birth of his son, Issac. He went through numerous trials before Issac was born and yet God kept His promises even past the death of Abraham.
Change is not always easy or to our liking. While it is easy to look back through rose colored glasses, we are sometimes unwilling to accept what lies ahead. Instead of focusing on the things we don’t like, we can look ahead to the promises given to us by God. I am going to try to not think of myself as an old mare headed for the glue factory, but to enjoy the many blessings God gives me each and every day.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: